Dr. Kimberly McLeod has spent her professional career in public education. She has held various positions in the public school setting including that of a teacher, counselor, professor and administrator. She has earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston, a Masters degree in Counseling and Guidance, a Master's degree in Educational Administration and a Doctoral degree in Counselor Education from Texas Southern University. She has presented her research and professional training nationally and internationally for over a decade.
Her unique delivery style is research-based, reflective and engaging. She has presented as a keynote, and an invited speaker to teachers, administrators, school board trustees and students in a number of districts, national and international conferences.
Dr. McLeod is the founding editor of the nationally peer reviewed National Journal of Urban Education and has written eight academic books, three children’s books, and over 12 articles in various peer reviewed journals. She has been awarded Teacher of the Year by the college of Education at Texas Southern University and was selected as an award recipient of the YMCA minority achiever’s award. Dr. McLeod is also the President-Elect of the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators.
If bias and inequity were treated like a virus, a contagion that spreads from person to person without regard to race, religion, income, learning difference, language, accent, and residence would schools be different?
Welp. The scale is not a liar. When did your clothes stop fitting? Where did that extra weight come from? Why won’t it just go away? Stress eating, binge eating, pot luck eating, snack eating, fancy eating, just eating up any and everything. You’re not even hungry. You’re just eating to be eating. You need a new start.
You don’t walk the halls anymore. You know that you should be visible, but if you leave the fire you are currently putting out, the building may burn down. Not just one room in the building, the entire building! The minute you put that fire out, you discover the embers from that fire started another one that is blazing right behind you. Sign number one that you are overwhelmed as a principal is that you are always in crisis mode and not in creation mode. No one can thrive in a building that is constantly in crisis, day after day; year after year and fire after fire.
3 Easy Signs to Identify “Those Kids” in a Deficit Mindset Culture
Who are “those kids”? They are the love interest of a deficit mindset culture. They are the kids that never seem to “fit in”. They are group of kids that schools get frustrated with the most in every kind of imaginable way and the data reflects that frustration. When you see a child and you are only able to see the negative attributes about them, or you are unable to see them beyond typical stereotypes or biases.
I know many would like to believe that racial bias doesn’t exist or completely deny that there are prejudiced systems and people. However, it’s a lie. It’s a lie that plays dress up and pretends to be truth. What happens when people don’t want to pretend anymore?
Some leaders will search for the needle in the haystack – and find it! Others will take an entire haystack and spin it into gold. Many students are like the straws of hay, a potential untouched clearly sitting in front of an academic leader searching for a needle in a haystack. Discarding hay into other piles, drop out piles, under achieving piles, special education piles, suspension piles, irrelevant piles, don’t know what to do with piles, while searching for that needle in a bushel of hay. Chances are, as you read this, you may have been that straw of hay in someone else’s hand. What is your testimony?
Learning Gaps are the direct result of Teaching Gaps
When the bell rings on the first day of school, so do gaps in achievement. Many will begin school for the first time believing they are quite capable of achieving respectable outcomes, however, as the year progresses so will reality, so will dysfunctional beliefs and so will gaps in achievement. The “many” I’m referring to are teachers and teacher leaders.
Beating the Dysfunction of Ineffective Beliefs
Deficit model thinking is an assumption that systemically marginalized or racialized people, especially students of color and low-income students are culturally deprived and their life experience, academic potential and ability are incongruent with school culture and success.
Creating culturally conscious practices in the classroom is a process that develops better humans; humans that are both students, and teachers.
Culturally unconscious teachers don’t know that they are in a state of cultural comatose. They are completely unaware that any deficits or biases exist in their world